Small- and medium-sized leisure and hospitality companies are in bullish mood, predicting 8.5% growth in their sector over the next 12 months, according to a new survey.
Bosses in the sector are also expecting to put a total of 345,000 people back into work over the coming year as they increase employee numbers, including 78,000 new apprenticeships, a survey conducted by Barclays has shown.
Despite that, only half of those companies have formulated a formal business plan.
The findings come as part of an effort to promote Barclays' new business start-up competition, which will see Julie Meyer, founder and chief executive of Ariadne Capital reward the ten freshest business ideas in the country with an equal share of £500,000 in cash. Details of the competition are available on www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk.
Steve Cooper, managing director of Barclays Business, said: "Local businesses, including pubs, clubs, B&B's and hotels, are the backbone of Britain's economy and the heartbeat of our communities.
"They give colour to our high streets and provide jobs for so many people. It's important for us to recognise and support their ongoing efforts in such challenging market conditions."
"Hard work, commitment, innovation and creativity are the ingredients for any successful business and we want to provide a boost for the 10 freshest and most deserving ideas in the UK. We are also encouraging more SMEs to think again about creating a simple and effective business plan.
The Barclays survey canvassed the opinions of 184 bosses of SMEs in the food and drink, leisure and hospitality sector.
By Neil Gerrard
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